Friday 23 October 1668
Up, and plasterers at work and painters about my house. Commissioner Middleton and I to St. James’s, where with the rest of our company we attended on our usual business the Duke of York. Thence I to White Hall, to my Lord Sandwich’s, where I find my Lord within, but busy, private; and so I staid a little talking with the young gentlemen: and so away with Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, towards Tyburne, to see the people executed; but come too late, it being done; two men and a woman hanged, and so back again and to my coachmaker’s, and there did come a little nearer agreement for the coach, and so to Duck Lane, and there my bookseller’s, and saw his moher, but elle is so big-bellied that elle is not worth seeing. So home, and there all alone to dinner, my wife and W. Hewer being gone to Deptford to see her mother, and so I to the office all the afternoon. In the afternoon comes my cozen, Sidney Pickering, to bring my wife and me his sister’s favour for her wedding, which is kindly done, and he gone, I to business again, and in the evening home, made my wife read till supper time, and so to bed. This day Pierce do tell me, among other news, the late frolick and debauchery of Sir Charles Sidly and Buckhurst, running up and down all the night with their arses bare, through the streets; and at last fighting, and being beat by the watch and clapped up all night; and how the King takes their parts; and my Lord Chief Justice Keeling hath laid the constable by the heels to answer it next Sessions: which is a horrid shame. How the King and these gentlemen did make the fiddlers of Thetford, this last progress, to sing them all the bawdy songs they could think of. How Sir W. Coventry was brought the other day to the Duchesse of York by the Duke, to kiss her hand; who did acknowledge his unhappiness to occasion her so much sorrow, declaring his intentions in it, and praying her pardon; which she did give him upon his promise to make good his pretences of innocence to her family, by his faithfulness to his master, the Duke of York. That the Duke of Buckingham is now all in all, and will ruin Coventry, if he can: and that W. Coventry do now rest wholly upon the Duke of York for his standing, which is a great turn. He tells me that my Lady Castlemayne, however, is a mortal enemy to the Duke of Buckingham, which I understand not; but, it seems, she is disgusted with his greatness, and his ill usage of her. That the King was drunk at Saxam with Sidly, Buckhurst, &c., the night that my Lord Arlington come thither, and would not give him audience, or could not which is true, for it was the night that I was there, and saw the King go up to his chamber, and was told that the King had been drinking. He tells me, too, that the Duke of York did the next day chide Bab. May for his occasioning the King’s giving himself up to these gentlemen, to the neglecting of my Lord Arlington: to which he answered merrily, that, by God, there was no man in England that had heads to lose, durst do what they do, every day, with the King, and asked the Duke of York’s pardon: which is a sign of a mad world. God bless us out of it!